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Microsoft will protect Canada elections against cyber threats

Microsoft expands AccountGuard to customers in the political eco-system in Canada, to protect them against cyber threats. The service is already at work in the US, UK and Ireland

Microsoft expands AccountGuard service to customers in the political eco-system in Canada. It has been announced by Kevin Peesker, president at Microsoft Canada, in a post on Linkedin. “Democracies around the world are under attack. Foreign entities are launching cyber attacks to disrupt elections and sow discord. These threats to the democratic process have become a critical concern around the world and it is clear that the tech sector will need to do more to help protect the democratic process,” he wrote. “That is why I am pleased to announce the availability of Microsoft AccountGuard service here. It’s a new security service offered at no additional cost to Office 365 customers in the political eco-system and is designed to help these highly targeted customers protect themselves from cyber security threats”. The service is already at work in the US, UK and Ireland.

The service will boost the cyber security of all the actors of the next elections: candidates, political parties, think tanks and democracy advocacy organizations, and technology vendors involved. Including against disinformation campaigns

Microsoft will give the AccountGuard service to current candidates in Canada for federal or provincial office and their campaigns; all registered federal and provincial political parties; think tanks and democracy advocacy organizations; and technology vendors who primarily serve political campaigns. The service “is a critical component of the Microsoft Defending Democracy Program,” Peesker continued “which is focused on four key priorities: protecting campaigns from hacking; protecting voting and the electoral process; increasing political advertising transparency; and defending against disinformation campaigns”. The core features of the cyber security service include: Advanced threat detection and notification across accounts, Security management and ongoing education, and Early adopter opportunities. 

Microsoft AccountGuard will warn customers about cyber threats, including attacks by nation-state actors; it will give best practice guidance to improve the cyber security, and access to private previews of features

Microsoft AccountGuard warns its customers about cyber threats, including attacks by nation-state actors, in a unified way across both email systems run by organizations and the personal accounts of these organizations’ leaders and employees who opt in. Officials, campaigns and related political organizations in Canada will receive best practice guidance specific to those in the political space to help make their networks and email systems more secure. This would cover topics like enabling multi-factor authentication, recognizing a spear-phishing attempt, when and how to install the latest operating systems, and in-depth live sessions on topics such as threat modelling, contingency planning, defensive coding, phishing awareness, identity and device and cloud management. Finally, they will receive access to private previews of cyber security features that are typically offered to our large corporate and government account customers.

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